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Full text of "My Country And My People"

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and therefore for natural guidance and leadership, and real
leadership is conceived as a leadership of the mind. With the
majority of people illiterate, it is easy to maintain that leader-
ship, sometimes by a mere jumble of unusual phrases that the
illiterate only half understand, or by a reference to history, of
which the common people have only such knowledge as they
can pick up from the theatre. The reference to history generally
settles the question, and it is characteristic, because the
Chinese mind thinks in terms of concrete analogy, which some-
how puts the situation in a form that the common people can
grasp in its entirety.

I have already suggested that the Chinese suffer from an
overdose of intelligence, as shown in their old roguery, their
indifference, and in their pacifism, which so often borders on
cowardice. But all intelligent men are cowards, because in-
telligent men want to save their skins. There can be nothing
more silly, if we keep our minds clear enough to see it, than a
man popping his head "over the top," with gin-manufactured
courage, in order to meet a lead bullet and die for a newspaper-
manufactured "cause/' If he can use his head in reading news-
papers, he will not be at the front, and if he can abstain from
gin and keep a cool head, he will logically and humanly be in a
blue funk. The last war has taught us that many gentle souls
who shine at school or college undergo a mental torture of
which the more robust and less intelligent have no inkling of
_ an idea. And it is not the novice but the man in service for
four years who begins to realize that desertion is often a virtue
one owes to oneself and the only sane course open to a sensible
and honest man.

But the general mental intelligence of the Chinese race can
be proved from other sources than cowardice. Chinese
students in America and European colleges often distinguish
themselves academically, and I think this is hardly due to a
process of selection. The Chinese mind is long used to academic
discussions at home. The Japanese have sarcastically dubbed
the Chinese "a literary nation," and justifiably so. An example
of this is.the enormous output of current Chinese magazines
which seems to crop up wherever a group of four or five friends
get together in a city, and the tremendous number of writers